Hayato Nekketsu (熱血 隼人 Nekketsu Hayato) is a fighting game character from the Rival Schools games.
Hayato has black hair with thick eyebrows (brown in some UDON promotional artwork and official comic art) with a long single grass on his mouth, and is dressed in a red track suit with a white shirt and sneakers.
Hayato is Taiyou Gakuen's number one lady-killer and physical education teacher, as hot-blooded as his name implies. He developed his own sense of justice. Corporal punishment was also one of his own ideas. His students draw a ferocious, inescapable, unstoppable force from Hayato's own sense of justice. When his students at Taiyo were attacked, Hayato became suspicious of the elite academy, Justice High. He joins Batsu Ichimonji, Hinata Wakaba, and Kyosuke Kagami in the fight, watching over them.
Hayato was designed by Kazuhiko Shimamoto, a noted mangaka (Japanese comic author). Unlike Karin and Evil Ryu (who were created by Masahiko Nakahira, another well-known mangaka), Capcom does not own Hayato; this is reflected in UDON's Capcom Fighting Tribute artbook as UDON stated that people were not allowed to draw Hayato in the book due to legal issues involving Shimamoto.
Hayato is a teacher of physical education at Taiyo High School. He first appears in the PlayStation version of the game as a console-exclusive bonus character. In the story, he sets out to find the source of the school abductions, as he believes the students are unable to do so themselves. In his non-canonical ending, he secretly defeats Hyo and he puts a letter mark on Hyo's head and leaves Justice High School before Batsu, Hinata, and Kyosuke arrive to fight off Hyo.
Hayato joins fellow teachers Hideo and Kyoko in investigating a new threat to the schools a year later.
Upon meeting the fake Batsu from within the Taiyo High storyline, Hayato immediately points out that the person he, Hinata, Kyosuke, and Chairperson were confronting at the time was a fake for a peculiar reason: the fake Batsu "lacks the fire" in the real Batsu's eyes, something that the fake Batsu found funny. When Hinata is about to be attacked by Kurow, the real Batsu arrives in time by hitting him with a powerful Burning Super Guts Bullet and Hayato was impressed to see his student return, giving him some advice about his fake self before having his injuries treated by Chairperson.
Hayato later rejoins up with Hideo at the mountainous region as they confront the fake Batsu, revealed to be Kurow in disguise and the one responsible for attacking Raizo in the director's office at the start of Project Justice. Both are also surprised to see Kyoko kidnapped by him as Hayato challenges Kurow to a fight. Hideo successfully rescues Kyoko and they team up with Hayato to face Kurow. After the fight, they arrive at Justice High School to see Kurow's defeat by Hyo (who is possessed by his late father's spirit) and the trio prepare themselves as they engage in a deadly and dangerous fight against Hyo.
After the incident and Hyo's death, Hayato and Kyoko later visit both Hideo and Raizo at the hospital, with Hideo himself being recently hospitalized due to the physical injuries that he had sustained during the fight against Hyo. Due to his feelings for Kyoko, Hayato allows Hideo to be with her and he envies him for being "a lucky man". When Kyoko reminds Hideo about both their upcoming wedding and marriage, Hayato happily congratulates them with tears of joy while laughing happily.
Hayato fights using kendo, a modern Japanese martial art. Most of Hayato's techniques involve the use of his shinai (竹刀), the bamboo sword used in kendo training. Hayato also uses some hand-to-hand fighting.
Hayato is a very limited character in terms of Rival Schools attributes. He has very limited air-combo capability, and even fewer options for Textbook Combos. The best way for a player to emerge victorious is to have Hayato continuously poke at the opponent with quick double Light Punches or double Light Kicks. Next, the player can go for a throw when the opponent might expect the Textbook Combo to continue. The player can lure an attack so that they can Tardy Counter back. After the Tardy Counter, the player can inflict a good deal of damage. Also, when jumping up, if the player immediately presses Light Kick and then High Kick while falling again, they can catch the opponent off guard.
Hayato's Team-Up Technique (TUT) is semi-quickly initiating. It doesn't do all that much damage, but it works great for countering an opponent's TUT.
Being one of the few characters to wield a weapon, he can deflect certain projectile attacks back to his opponent. His High Air Launcher, which makes use of the shinai, does just that.
He has the weakest damage in some of his special attacks. He can only be damaged when he pulls his combo to the opponent and his Nekketsu Windmill.
- Nekketsu Shinai (熱血竹刀 Hot-blooded Bamboo Sword) - Hayato swings his shinai three times. The last blow knocks the opponent into the ground. In the air, this attack hits four times. Very damaging, and can be used in a Textbook Combo. Its air version has little recovery time.
- Guts Kick (Japanese: 気合キック Kiai Kick -- Energy Focus Kick) - Hayato does a rising kick. The direction of this kick depends on the kick button pressed for this move's button combination. It may go at an angle, or perpendicular to the ground.
- Turning Shinai Smash (Japanese: 回転竹刀落とし Kaiten Shinai Otoshi) - An air-only throw maneuver. It cannot be used in a combo, and can be blocked by the opponent.
- Double Guidance Kick (Japanese: ダブル指導キック Double Shidou Kick) - Hayato executes a fast drop-kick and lands front-first into the ground, where he has super armor, but not when getting up. While on the ground, opponents may use attacks that can knock him off the ground for a possible combo.
- Guts Knuckle (Japanese: 気合ナックル Kiai Knuckle -- Energy Focus Knuckle) - Hayato draws back and executes a powerful, fiery downward punch. He has super armor throughout the entire attack, and will continue even if hit. The only moves that can foil this move are throw maneuvers, and Team-Up and Party-Up Techniques.
Burning Vigor Attacks
- Nekketsu Push-Ups (Japanese: 熱血腕立て伏せ Nekketsu Udetatefuse -- Hot-blooded Push-ups) - Hayato makes the opponent do push-ups before whacking the latter hard with his shinai, sending the opponent some distance away from him.
- Nekketsu Tolerance (Japanese: 熱血ヤセ我慢 Nekketsu Yase Gaman -- Hot-blooded Tolerance) - Hayato gains super armor for approximately six seconds. It can be done again and again for increased armor time, since the effect is cumulative. The problem with this technique is its long startup delay.
- Nekketsu Cross Counter (熱血クロスカウンター Hot-blooded Cross Counter) - Hayato does a powerful straight punch. This attack can be done for up to six seconds before being executed. The longer the charge time, the more powerful this attack becomes. Furthermore, Hayato has super armor throughout the entire move. A very good choice for a Tardy Counter, and can be used against moves which normally cannot be countered. Sidestepping the charged form of this attack is futile; once Hayato starts charging power, he automatically locks on to his target.
- Nekketsu Windmill (Japanese: 熱血風車 Nekketsu Fuusha -- Hot-blooded Windmill) - Hayato propels himself towards the opponent in a drill-like manner.
- Nekketsu Guts Cannon (Japanese: 熱血気合砲 Nekketsu Kiaihou -- Hot-blooded Energy Focus Cannon) - Hayato repeatedly whacks the active character's back with his shinai, unleashing the latter's hidden power in the form of an energy beam aimed towards the opponent. After the attack, the active character can be seen bowing towards Hayato, with his/her back towards the opponent.
- Hayato does the Horse Riding Smash.
- His last name, Nekketsu (熱血), literally means "hot-blooded" in Japanese.
- His official epithet is "Burning Red Jersey".
- The following details on Hayato's life is as described.
- As per Taiyo High rules, Hayato does not have a part-time job to supplement his teaching job.
- He dislikes teaching puzzling school subjects.
- As with the case of Ran, Hayato is not playable at all in either of the two Taiyo High storylines; he is playable only in the Justice High arc.
- Hayato appears as one of the instructors in the School Life Mode of Nekketsu Seisyun Nikki 2.
- It is to be noted that Hayato shares his first name with Hayato Kanzaki, the main protagonist of the Star Gladiator series. Coincidentally, both Hayatos are expert swordsmen, with Nekketsu using a traditional Japanese shinai while Kanzaki uses a lightsaber-esque plasma sword.
- He is voiced by Takumi Yamazaki.